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I agree with this, I know of a friend who had a stroke and the staff got her to start one on the ward to help with memory loss. And she really did come on in leaps and bounds the doctors said shes getting back to her old self quicker than they exspected.

I have started one as Im always forgetting things and also keep things in, I think it does help to let it out if only on paper. xxTwiggyxx

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Journaling, ahh i have been doing it for years, yet it is still difficult to pinpoint its usefulness. For me I draw a line between public and private journals, simply because for a long time I was ashamed to think my livejournal friends might read my "Dirty laundry" and think of me as some kind of woe-is-me type. Ever since i was in elementary school (11 years ago) I kept a private journal on the computer. That kept me going for many years. ALthough it was a bit embarrassing to go back and read, it never failed to be entertaining as a chronicle of what was happening in my life at the time. For the past 3 years or so, I've found it's more helpful (for me) to write in a notebook by hand. The point is, to always be open to "Switching things up" if you need to; if you feel one mode of journaling just isn't "doing it" anymore. Sometimes the feel of the pen and paper does something that the keyboard and the computer doesn't. "I dunno" :tongue: Lately I've been alternating between a semi-public livejournal and my notebook. I think I prefer the notebook, cause I can "name names" if I need to and feel 100% uninhibited. Although I can definitely relate to how you feel Meissa, sometimes I feel that I'm regurgitating the same thing over and over again and my friends see me as "the complainer who always complains about the same things." I would respond to this by saying "they don't know what it's like" and thank goodness for a place like DF.

I think "the d" (my "euphemism" for "depression") has an obviously large "cognitive" component (no surprise we see so much talk of cognitive behavior therapy) that simply means: we're always THINKING about it, we're thinking a LOT, and since we cannot possibly vocalise all these thoughts, all the time, just being able to write them out as a stream-of-consciousness is itself valuable. Maybe it's overthinking or an "overactive imagination," but I think also, that it affords us saddies the chance to "hone our voices" and constantly practice our verbal skills and better articulate our thoughts, no matter how far-out those thoughts may be. In a society that laments the inability of "average people" to "read or write" I think journaling is great as a literary endeavor alone.

How effective the journal is in dealing with "the d" is another story. The "feeling good" book discusses a lot of "homework" techniques that many people have found very effective (thanks to sheepwoman who thoughtfully posted many similiar exercises in the psych 101 forum). If we can recognize what our "cognitive errors" are and correct them in the process of journaling, and end the journal on a positive note, all the better, although sometimes it seems absolutely necessary to sit there and scribble madly for hours. it's a spectrum I think. But when you get some "crazy" thoughts you wouldn't want to discuss with friends/family/doc, it's good to have a venue to address them (and DF is a wonderful place as well!)

PEACE

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I used to journal quite often, and I still do from time to time, but I find that I repeat myself quite a bit and I don't know what to make of that. Am I dwelling on something? Am I refusing to move on? Is it something that I can move past? My journals seem redundant. Maybe it is because I am recieving no response from the paper that I fill up. I don't know. Maybe I am just not doing it right.

CR

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm so sorry if i wasn't supposed to post this in here, it's just that right now I feel like such a mess and I feel so drained.I tried to talk with my mother today telling her that I wasn't feeling well and that I'm living in so much misery. But she didn't care. Started talking about some new teas that make people feel better and all that stuff.

God,it hurts so much to feel excluded from your own family. For them to look at you as if you're acting like a spoiled child begging for attention.

My father is more concerned about the state of the world (watching TV all day) completely ignoring his daughter's world. ANd my mom only cares about her work, not giving me much attention.

I feel so lonely and so worthless. My family has deserted me, my friends abandoned me and I hate myself...What I've become. Am I really acting like a spoiled child begging for attention? Is that it? No wonder nobody wants anything to do with me!

I'm so tired of crying all the time, and feeling sorry for myself.

I just want to sleep forever and not wake up.

I feel so much pain and so much lonelinness.

I'm so so sorry if I'm venting my frustrations here..It's just that I didn't know where to post and I'm so desperate.

I wish I could become numb from all this pain. That all of this would pass me by and I would be a simple spectator watching a show. An awful show!!!

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Just recently I started a journal. This is my first venture into journaling. Before now I always felt sort of silly writing about my days and feelings.

Well, in the short 2 weeks since I began a journal I have noticed a huge difference within me. I'm a bit more at peace with myself. Jotting down my thoughts on paper - computer screen, actually - has made it easier for me to sort out the swirling mess that is my head. I've realized that venting my feelings in a safe venue, where no one else can learn of my sometimes negative and awful reactions I have to the world around me, has allowed me a level of self-honesty that I never before experienced. I've written of my fears, and of the sadness that often envelopes me. I've expressed dreams and hopes that I'd never be able to tell another living soul for fear of being ridiculed.

In short, I've found journaling to be an absolutely wonderful way to check in with myself. Journaling...I'm a believer.

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i did keep 3 years of my life in one whole journal but then i burned it b/c i was paranoid of someone finding it.....mostly b/c i found my sisters journals from high school and yeah....i didnt want somebody to find mine....also it kind of felt like a new beginning after they were burndt....did a number on the sink though....i don't recommend it.... :hearts:

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Joekm:

That's a good question, actually. Is writing down that sort of thing therapeutic, or is it just "indulgence"? There are those who claim that exposing personal pain has the possibility of becomign addictive - like being given "permission" to be depressed.

There are those, like me, who agree.

HOWEVER, I also believe that over time (sometimes years), it can become a real force in the process of healing. You will see later on just how silly you sounded when you wrote about the "worst day anybody could EVER have", and then you can't even remember the feelings of that day. So after a long while, it can give you PERSPECTIVE - that all-elusive trait that beats Paxil hands-down.

Such is my opinion, anyway. I like to write, so...

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  • 2 weeks later...
I find myself losing interest in journaling when the depression gets a hold of me... It's something I love doing and need to keep doing, no matter how I feel. Sometimes I feel like "What's the point?" but at least whatever comes out is, for some time, on a screen, on paper, instead of weighing down on my heart and mind.

This reminds me of something Eric Clapton once said about "the Blues" that I agree with. He said that it's a myth that when you have the blues, you write good blues songs. He said when he has the blues, he doesn't even want to get out of bed. I can relate to that, because that's how I feel. Sometimes, though, I have made up stories to take my mind off of how I feel, and it gave me a distraction that worked sometimes. Sometimes, though, nothing seems to help

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  • 3 weeks later...

My Psychiatrist yesterday recommended to keep a journal of everything that is going through my mind, it does not have to be specific or a very long paragraph - as long as I write down my emotions or what I'm currently unable to process. I have a hard time writing into diaries because I have trust issues, I'm always afraid (thats the paranoid part) that somebody will steal it and embarrass me w/ it. But I will try, I already ordered one online today, I should have it soon. All of this is a big effort to me, but I'm willing to give it all a try - and hopefully I will get better.... that is my ultimate goal - and right now I'm trying to stay as open minded to ideas that could help me as I can.

~adorabelle

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I have also tried journaling and it did help a little. Although I still didn't have the answers to why what happened has happened, my frustration was taken out in this writing and it helped to ease the burden even if for just a short time.

I am new here. (Hi all) I have been advised to try to journal so I bought one. I still haven't written a thing in it. I feel like if I start I will not be able to quit. I have been dealing with my depression for about 2 months now and they have put me on Paxil which has helped some. I would love to start my journal but somehow I just feel like I am afraid of it. What if someone reads it and I have written something that could hurt them, even if it is in a moment of anger? I just really do not even know how to start it.

Yeah...I think writing helps a lot. I need to start writing again...sometimes when I am mad I will write a letter to the person and then tear it up...releasing that feeling. However for the fear of it being found...if you don't want to tear it up maybe you should keep an electronic journal, and keep it in a private folder.

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I keep an online journal. It's not specifically for writing, in fact it's to monitor my progress in skating (my hobby), but you can tell when I'm having a bad day because it kinda comes out in the journal.

I find journalling a good way of 'letting of steam'. Some of my pages are probably boring and depressing for others to read but the way I see it is that I created the journal for my benefit, no theirs, so if people don't like what they read they don't have to read it.

PD

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Guest sarah-nicole

Just FYI..........as a member here you can start your own blog once you hit 5 posts. You can make it public or decide for it to be private and maybe add a few others to your private club.

Just thought I would let you guys know :bump:

SN :hearts:

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Yes, journals are good for getting things off your chest but I find afterwards I'm afraid, afraid that someone will find it.

Journals are pieces of paper, they can't reassure you, they can't tell you that everything's going to be alright. That's what I need.

Sometimes I'll write, but find I'm too scared to read what I've written. The best thing to do with a journal, in my opinion, is to get it all out and never look at it again. Never remember how sad you once were.

That so sounds like me. 10 years ago I started journaling and bought a nice book and just wrote what was in my head. It was a difficult time so I'm sure I wrote a lot of things that were really personal. I say that because I've never had the courage to read what I wrote since. But perhaps that's it, you don't have to dwell in the past, just write in the now and move on to tomorrow. I still have it and will never destroy it. Now, here I am again and I like many here like writing but find it hard to start.

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I feel a lot like nightkat and Meissa on the journal subject. I really think a lot so I'm usually very aware of my feelings. When I do keep a journal, it's a blog, usually kept with the hope that someone I know will read it and understand me a bit better. But I get stuck in the pattern of me constantly complaining, people getting sick of it, and me finding myself talking to myself...

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I keep a webblog and have met some great people that way, too. It really has been helpful in so many ways. Having multiple blogs can be useful too. One for depressing things, one for happy things, one for tracking moods and meds, etc... sometimes it really helps me to go back and re-read happier entries. It can lift my mood.

I'm going to use my blog here for tracking side-effects of my ADs, I think.

-Babs

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Guest Struggling

I find a journal useful. I dont use it every day though. I find that if i have trouble sleeping, if i write down all my thoughts and worries then it gives me relative peace of mind. It feels like ive taken a step forward by writting it my journal. I then find i can get some sleep..

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Hi, this is on a slightly different but related topic. I have just been discharged from three weeks inpatient therapy for major depression/anxiety disorder. The clinic that I was admitted to was for fairly high functioning individuals and the program was based around a program of 'group sessions' that were an aid to understanding and managing our symptoms.

The most amazing session I attended was by a consultant lecturer who was a previous patient at the clinic. He was incredibly inspirational and one of the very simple ideas that he discussed was maintaining a 'diary' to keep a perspective on ur disease.

His process works on a 1, 2, 3 score ... 1 for a day where you are basically non functional ... 2 for a day where you may manage to get to an appointment in the morning but the afternoon is bad, or vice versa and you sleep late but accomplish something in the afternoon, 3 for a functional day (and he suggested an individual decision as to what was functional be it leaving the house, or communicating with friends etc).

The purpose of such a simple diary is to allow a perspective over where your disease has been and where you are now. I know for me that when I have some good days and then they are followed by 'bad' days again I lose the memory and value of the good days. This diary allows me to see my illness in perspective in terms of healing in that the last month has included more 2 days than 1 days. It can also be a tool over time for predicting 'difficult' times of the year.

I won't continue to prattle on ... but if anyone is interested in using this technique please don't hesitate to send me a msg. I have found it really useful in understanding and managing my illness.

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I find journalling to be really useful too. It's a good stress reliever and helps me to get this in prospective before I go to bed. I don't journal every night but every few nights. It clears my mind before bed. It's not for everyone though. But is helpful to some.

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I've tried journaling but it doesn't work for me. It's funny, because I'm a writer by profession. When I try to journal or write out my emotions, I find myself obsessing more and more over how bad I feel--it just makes things worse. I have found writing poetry can help me work through some negative emotions, though. Kind of a way of venting, I guess.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i used to write, mainly just messing around though. For a short while, though, i kept a journal on a daily or bidaily basis, but i stopped. Although it did help me a bit at hard times, rereading a lot of my old writing just brought old memories of pain back to life. For example, on a perfectly fine day, I actually decided to reread some of my stuff from around two months back, a particularly hard time. Just rereading the first couple of pages launched me right back to where I was and I was, in a sense, reexperiencing the same feelings. My ability to fall so quickly back into former experiences just by reading about them scared me so much, I had to stop.

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